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Statement of Purpose About This Blog

Oklahoma- 2014

Oklahoma- 2014

“If you are anything like me, there are nights you cannot sleep. There are two basic pillars to my existence- A recognition of the heartbreaking beauty of the world, followed closely by an obsession with life in it’s myriad of forms. I think for me, my greatest intrigue lays in the mesh-point between the indifferent world at large, and the human subjective experience. This is where the magic occurs.” – Austin Brown 

The layout of this blog will consist of posts, usually daily, that will either illustrate some subjective experience I have had, or explain the value of the subjective. The rest of the entries will be the discussion of theories and philosophies in a general and accessible way. I will try to keep away from being too academic, as no one is interested in reading that shit, except for me. The point really is to challenge people to examine the reality they live in, really examine it, and ask the most difficult questions- questions we usually avoid in our day to day lives.

The “Shit to Buy” on the lower right part of the page will list books that I suggest you read as we go along. I only recommend books I feel are life changing. I won’t bullshit you about ideas, literature, or anything else which can help you along. I am very serious about self cultivation and self-actualization. I suppose that is the entire purpose of this blog. I used Amazon as an affiliate because aside from corporate evil, they DO have the best prices and biggest stock. Plus I want all my grasshoppers to feel secure in ordering things online.

Anyway, thank you for the read. Hopefully I will not let you down.

What Happens With Nothing

oil

 

Somewhere between the naked light across a feminine form,

and the vines gripping the wood tresses of a dead roller coaster,

I take what isn’t-

Coffee without cream,

love without commitment,

sustenance of nothingness.

 

At times I live only on the implied,

on the absence.

 

Nothing almost never means nothing-

it is what is suggested in space;

the unanswered prayers of school children

Are God’s very own psychological counseling sessions.

 

So when she is not sleeping near me,

when the snow takes space under the featureless grey,

when ice forms,

and blood drains-

it is the leaving,

the return,

which we want to believe contains  the weight.

 

I sense only the failure of the material in the material,

I take milk without coffee.

I paw at the night as I sleep-

dreaming only of inky blackness,

and the sound of my own breathing in the dark.

 

Since You Asked

Sphinks

 

I turn down the volume by clicks,

the madhouse beacons,

porcelain faces tell me my value on the open market,

but only in bits and pieces,

I am to surmise.

 

I watch the news as a hollowed out straw man whose voice is a raspy whisper. I have read all the great and dark thinkers. I have shed existential skin and found it meaningless as well, and comfortingly so. The parade of voices and suppositions, the crises which get viewers, more sad still, the stories of the dead that get no news. The social dead.

 

I have nothing for you but my body,

the dark,

my thoughts.

 

No, I do not believe what you tell me. I know now I do not have to. Your are nothing, you are a voice from a broken down box which scrubs the empty souls of your viewers. Washed clean they are filled with plastic dolls of people in little houses in towns that never existed. On your dark hours, you show me only what is wrong. I cannot swim in this dark water, it is the glue to the skull, The sticky thoughtless thought. I’d rather sit alone, and listen to my own breath.

 

It’s fucking cold,

and the wind knows nothing different from drop to drop.

I button my deep blue coat,

that matches the deep blue word,

that fill the gutters and the pails of the workers on the dyke.

 

Floods. Where are the great epics when you need one? When do we get to wash the blood from the asphalt. When do the stones in the graveyard scream through the fences like children in the cold night? There are warnings in the night and in the chilly halls and on the faces of the young, and in the swirling clouds. This is not autumn, this is a lie.

 

I write songs to the last one I fucked,

I held her breasts and bury my face in her,

my tongue went

everywhere.

 

We are all cold. You could hold the nation responsible, but we would rather crucify men who are only an effigy of the flesh. They wear suits and read words floating in space to the dull witted crowd who wish only to be fat and blind and meaningless. I will tell you the truth, but I will not hold you when you understand that I am serious. All of it means an end and none of it is real. No more cars or vacations or asses shaped like Kim Kardashian. I feel only the notes played on the TV clicker. One is low for exterminating the soul, the other high for the sex. Each number a hard-on for misery. Let me see your life, lets me see your life, let me see your tiny boxed life. And everyone wonders why the are mad.

 

Tick tick ticker,

the fat get sicker,

Washington loses face in the Asian markets,

and I want to desperately believe it is them

THEM

it is THEM

of course,

for the bible tells me so,

or at least, the bible channel does.

Wheaties tells me so,

Black Stars Beating Women tells me so.

“A land of eunichs is needed!” The bitter mouths of angry vaginas tell me so.

 

cocks

fists

semen

 

Where are the greats? Who will speak for this generation, who the fuck are these people? I know their faces, know them intimately, I know the lines. But they are hollowed out, spoon fed their meanings, given illogical programs upon which to run their faulty buggy minds. Why did we give up? Why did we let it slide. I was in the bottle those years and then it was all over. Someone lent them a story at 3.12% on 30 years and they bought it.

 

They

fucking

bought

it.

 

Disregarding the Story

North Texas- 2014

North Texas- 2014

For me, the bitter cold can rage, and the antiquated story lines will be done and done again. So in the grey stark winter, I turn not to things which will stabilize my mood or my psyche, but rather, I turn to that which has no meaning, that which is empty, that which destabilizes my soul.

I seek out the haunted abandoned places in pictures, on foot, in my free time. I do not do this because I seek beauty. Over the last year I have spent much time examining my motives for my attraction to such places. I cannot draw any specific meaning from my motives per se. I know mainly that I am compelled by the void. Both the larger void of non-being, but also of the smaller voids in the world. Thin places where meaning left with a whisper and even ghosts become mute as to their own purpose.

I am fascinated by the unsaid. As a word-man, I am never at a loss for those little syllabled packets of value and implication. So it would be congruent that the loss of words, the abandonment of meaning, and the hollow whisper of the unsaid and long dead memories would haunt me even in my waking moments.

My soul tells me there is a story in everything. My mind asks if this is true; perhaps true isn’t the right word- I want to know if it is necessary for everything to contain a story. Do all graves contain bones? Or is there a place in time where the name becomes eroded on the tombstone, and the dust of bones is infused only with the dust of earth? Of course that moment comes, but when it does, do all stories and whispers die? Does the narrative end?

Ruins, abandoned places, broken backs of falling down structures- all of these things were once imperative to the people who created them, lived with and within them, whole lives passed beneath the boughs of steel, timber, and stone placed deliberate by hands which give purpose. So like the human soul, crafted with exactitude, given kinetic meaning; the facilitation of the living place.

Like the lives that have gone eons before- no names remain, only the collective edifice and the surety of our own days held fast by mortal pins driven deep into the mother from whence they came. Bolts, joints, doors unhinged, glass both clear and muddied, all things speed toward entropy in silence and in no other state. All meaning is spun off in the fugue of years.

And so this year, I step back a little and shrug. Maybe I do not need to know the stories this year. Maybe bones and bare boards can un-speak for themselves. Maybe my need to assign meaning is so far outside of the cosmic flow of entropy as to render my feeble stories in the dark like whispers in the wind. We shall see. Winter can be cruel, but not altogether uninviting.

Isuelt

Grey,
unlike any other-

But it only offers gracious contrast.
This dead city yawns around us,
with streets open like pilfered graves.

The rain has made your violent
and crimson hair
liquid,
on spider legs,
delicately flowing like the laughter
of poor children in wretched streets-
the perfect curls
sliding along the pale edges of your ivory face;
and a smile like violin notes during summer storms.

I don’t mind standing in the puddles,
I don’t mind the walking dead.

I feel you:
white,
opening like lilies in misty May-

Lips as final as Hyacinth.

Edges of the Dark

She struck me like the fractured edge of stone,
Smooth dark depth of obsidian;
In my corner I spun the webs,
and drained the bodies.

I walk the sharpened edge of the chisel.

There was no stilted walk,
to get away-
to scatter into dark corners.

You are my secret.
I am the bones afire in the night tide,
and outside your broken windows,
I sing the most hollow of songs.

Mother Autumn

Bare

I lean into autumn,

her hands brush my cheeks, raking her nails lightly across my face,

there is a tinge of brutality to her,

her anger at winter,

she seems to hold me responsible.

 

Skipping the curb on First street,

there is a dog with a sweater

walking her pinch faced owner

who wears loneliness like a birthmark on her face-

rage and shame to all who expose her.

 

There is neon further up,

the scent of fire and moss,

the withdrawing fuse has angered the afternoon.

the leaves fall like dead soldiers,

the clouds retreat and protest,

the sun, though slanted at the late hour,

is given carte blanche,

at least for now.

 

Winter will wipe it all away like a flooded stream-

the orange fire,

the red nuance,

the yellow protest,

and the slowly dying sunlight.

 

But as I walk, I know Autumn,

She gave birth to me,

I am her balanced child.

She will not give in yet,

she will only bend.

Six weeks until Samhain,

Mother Autumn and I are safe for now,

intertwined as I walk the streets she decorates,

she dresses me in scarves but no heavy jacket,

“Do not be too eager” she says,

the old man will be here soon enough.

Winter with Veruca

Oklahoma - 2014

Oklahoma – 2014

 

Violent and tumultuous come the clicking of her heels

along the cheap tile of my dingy kitchen.

 

She is the Rosebud of mystery.

Her love is black and white.

She walks alone before the eyes like cameras.

I am an invisible observer,

she doesn’t even say goodbye,

I drown in relief.

 

I go back to the menial task of living,

It is winter,

and my heart has not been invented yet.

 

One week later somewhere around Beson and Amity,

lover structure unfolded,

bursting forth like a rescue slide from the darkened door

of jet liner wrecked in the night.

Her passing presence is going to infect my days,

rooting out the core of the metal,

bending and reshaping carefully crafted

architecture of the halcyon spirit.

 

I slam the doors shut.

Kill all my houseplants with bleach,

and burn the sheets.

 

This place, this city, the tresses and iron,

the cold rain,

the running gutters-

rain : ingrained-

in asphalt,

squared cement,

and the tortured cracks in pavement of old alleyways.

 

I haven’t relived her vaporous hologram in weeks,

neither in wake or sleep.

Spring will come. My own fuse is tied to the burning stake.

 

Hailing a taxi around fiftieth,

I secure tomorrow’s hangover at the expense of next week’s rent,

and dance up the stairs,

where a century of feet have passed through

and the carpet is worn antiquity.

The scent of  one hundred years of raw humanity

emanates from the ever damp carpet.

 

Like a mugging,

she is there,

mad men have made roped black lines of tears,

descending to her open heart,

her hair is wet,

she has no coat.

And like that, I am suddenly both victim and hero,

caught again in the serial show,

black and white,

gunfighter, space-man,

and the endings are all the same.

 

 

Simplicity IS Living

Upright Tank

 

For a while now, we have been batting around theory, subjective experience,s and directed thinking. I read a lot of other people’s stuff. There are many things which I have picked up along the way and try to practice. The one main theme I encounter is that all workable and adoptable ways of living which denote a bit of enriching artful states of being, are inevitably based in simplicity. In that spirit, I will try to keep this post brief and succinct.

 

Things You Should Do Everyday

1. Spend at least one full minute standing completely still listening to your surroundings, feeling the sun on your skin, the wind through the trees, and the sound of your own breathing. I say to do this for one full minute- why? Because no one has time for anything these days. All this self-help pro-forma literature begs and pleads with you to make time for you. Easier said than done. But you do have one full minute. With daily practice, you will find the experience so delightful and fulfilling, you will expand it. So start somewhere tangible. Take that one minute for yourself.

2. Pay attention to the experience of drinking water, washing your hands, showering, or some other menial daily task. Set aside all your thoughts and fully feel the experience. Feel the water, it’s odd liquid texture, it’s tasteless refreshment, and the feeling of satiation. Be present to your bodies sensation, it’s movements- enjoy the feeling of your own body, even if for only a little while.

3. Eat Spartan, Sleep Spartan. Eat a plain diet in small portions. Notice what drives you to eat, when and why. When you crave something specific, draw it out as long as possible, then enjoy it, focusing only on the feeling of a satisfied craving. Forget all the fads and bullshit. Just shoot for a meat, a veggie, a fruit. Spruce it up with the occasional sweets. Don’t over think food. It is a natural process. Sleep between 4 and 6 hours a night. When you have some time off, clear your schedule, take a melatonin, turn off your alarm and silence your phone. Get at least on night a week of 9-12 hours of sleep.

4. Read everyday. Ritualized this practice. Do it either first thing, or last thing in your day. Have a couple books of fiction, and a couple of non-fiction going at one time. This way you can read in sync with what you are in the “mood” for. I keep fiction around because some days I want junk food after thinking all day. At other times I crave history, or scientific literature. Try out some new stuff you do not know if you will like. Read translated literature- Anything which will help you to explore literature.

5. Write at least once a week. The subject matter and the content are unimportant. It will evolve on it’s own in whatever direction your creativity wants to go.

6. Television is a total waste of time. There is no two ways about it. The greatest agent which has robbed the artistic, intellectual, and spiritual core from human beings is that fucking box. Get rid of it, use it only to watch sports, utilize Netflix. If you find yourself “channel surfing” get a hobby. Seriously. There is zero excuse for coming home, plopping in front of the box, wasting days, hours and weeks, looking at NOTHING. Turn off your TV- it is the single greatest thing you can do to improve your life. My personal feeling is that people that choose to engage in television have no right to complain about the condition of their lives. They just don’t, since they CHOOSE to waste several hours a day engaging in a task they know is wasteful. People that choose to watch TV everyday also have no right to complain there “isn’t enough hours in the day.” Again, you are choosing to be short on time by watching television. If social media is your bag, have FB running in the background, look up topics that interest you, share them with pals. DO NOT, just sit on a social media site hitting the like button like a monkey or stalking ex lovers like a creep. If you do need watch something on television, watch documentaries that interest you- you get the full “zombie” effect, but you learn something meaningful at the same time. That is a win-win after those long days when you want to spend an hour siting there staring at the television. The absolute worse state to be in is a time when you find yourself cruising social media, with a TV droning on in the background. This is depravity, and it is a trap.

Also on the topic of electronics, remember that answering your phone is optional after six. Do not bring work home if you can help it, do not let other people’s drama eat up your evening hours via cellphone either. Answer your phone and emails sparingly and only when you absolutely must. When your phone rings at nine pm, and you know who it is and what they want- see if it can wait until tomorrow. If you do answer, make it clear that this is your downtime and that you are not interested in talking for long.

9. Fashion your day around your hobbies. Instead of spending all your energy at work, trying to “make time” for your hobbies in the evening when you are exhausted, instead, approach your mornings with the idea that “Hey, after work, I get to do my thing.” This makes your workday merely an obstacle that stand between you and your productive and enlightening hobbies and activities. Work is what you do so that you can enjoy your hobbies. Work is the Means, and recreation and intellectual pursuits of interests are the Ends. Never confuse the two.

 

Relationships Made Easy

1. Does this person add to your DAILY life? No? Bye.

2. Do you look forward to seeing this person almost all the time? No? Bye.

3. Does this person have issues which are destructive that affect your life? Are they actively doing something to find solutions to these issues? No? Bye.

4. Do you wish you were with someone else almost everyday? Yes? Bye.

5. In general does the person put you in a positive mood or a negative mood? Negative? Bye.

6. Do you obsess about whether you “love” this person? or vice versa?- Bye.

7. Do you suspect any funny business? No evidence is needed. This is your life, not a court room. Bye.

8. Life is too short to settle, and it is too short for dreary lovers. We have made “compromise” such an operant word in today’s relationships that 90% of people settle. Never let loneliness drive you into a relationship which negatively affects your existence. You want someone that makes the art of being “you” even MORE “you”. Someone that makes it better, more enjoyable, and easier to be who you really are, and someone who loves you for that. Anything less is unacceptable. You should never have to defend who you are, or explain your inner workings to someone else’s satisfaction- especially an intimate partner. If you find you have to defend your personality from attack, then it is time to look elsewhere. If someone is focused on “changing” it is time to go. If you feel that so and so would be great if you could just get them to not do XYZ, then you need to look elsewhere and leave them in peace. This simple truth will free up so much emotional energy, you will know yourself better, and be a better more secure person for it.

 

Actions to Take

1. Resolve the most nagging issue you deal with right now. If you cannot find a solution right now, today; then formulate a plan for how you will do so in a specific and set time frame.

2. Be kind. Be generous. Hold doors, say thank you, ask people how their day is going and LISTEN to their response. Give money to homeless folks. Most generosity is very very small. Kindness is nothing more than stopping to acknowledge that you are not the only person on the planet. Easy mode.

3. Think regularly and at length about everything. Think about thinking. Notice how many of your thoughts are declarative statements. Change these statements to open ended questions. Formulate at least three questions for every challenge you need an answer to. Broadening your mind is not something for geniuses and academics. It is not magical, nor does it require excessive brain power. You want to stay out of automatic pilot in your personal life. Work, for example, is the time and place for that, because you get paid you focus on a task and follow through. But at home, sitting in your recliner, wondering how you are going to accomplish X, you need to take a looong step backwards. Think. Think about thinking. Your brain is the only thing that separates you from the stardust and animals. Cherish it, capitalize on it. and enjoy is.

4. Fear is the greatest obstacle in everyone’s life. It is a life governing agent which deters you from making empowered decisions, from exploring the world, from experiencing new things, from true love, and it is the main bar between you and true personal existential freedom.

 

Understanding the parsimony of life is key. Life is a complicated or as easy as you choose to make it. Poor decisions, emotionalism, mental health issue, depression, drug abuse etc etc- are all signs of a life that is far outside the boundaries of simplicity. The simplest answer is always invariably the correct one. If you feel like you are swimming upstream, you are, and it is time for a change and a reduction of outliers and distraction. If it is people that hold you back, then shed those people from your life, if poverty or illness are restrictive, then be pro-active about getting over these situations, and if your past, or your fears hold you back, then simply walk through it, If sentimentality or misplaced loyalties hold you in check- get honest with those factors.

With simplicity, you cannot fail at life. You can only over-complicate. In this day and age when our merit is weighed under the banners of “success” and “failure”- simplicity and an understanding of your place in the world can offer a long sought purity and cleanliness which exudes effectiveness, authentic actions, and positive, reaffirming directed thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

Crossroads

North Texas - 2014

North Texas – 2014

 

A man stands at a dusty crossroad. His name is not important. The forces of the universe which have brought him to this point are all in the past. The dreams, jokes, lovers, tragedies; all of it, no longer matter. For all intents and purposes, he is a man without a name, without a past, and without a story.

What are the basic elements at play? There is the question of choice. There is the question of motivation. There is the question of the future. We humans have the ability to time travel. We can imagine an outcome for the decisions we make. We can envision the world ten, twenty, one hundred years ahead. At the same time we can withdraw to the cusp of the moment. Listen to the blood in our ears, the wind through the trees, or the silence of a hot afternoon at a lonely crossroad.

So the real question is this. If we disregard the past entirely, how can we make the best use of the elements of our situations? How much does the past hold us back? How much of our motivation is driven by the past, and how much does the past weigh in when we consider our own futures.

Imagine now, that you are free of the past. Literally, it is over. For good and for all. It is done. You stand at a crossroad. There is nothing which may limit you. Your past and the role it plays in your life is a choice. You are not a victim. You are in control. It is after all, your story, not the story of some other person. This is the time you are entitled to, and it ticks by. Are you doing exactly what you want. If not, is the compromise you are making worth it? No mysterious force is going to come along and dislodge you from your life. If change is necessary, then you alone, must seek it.

This is the challenge I leave for you today.